Our visit to Japan in September 2018 greeted us with overcast weather.
We visited the famous Chureito Pagoda in the Fujikawaguchiko area in the hopes of seeing the stunning pagoda with Fuji-san in the background. Instead we got stunning views of the pagoa against a dramatic sky.
Happy with the image, and will have to go back for the iconic view.
The Churieto Pagoda in Japan’s Kawaguchiko region is one of the more famous landmarks in the region, particularly because there is a classic view of the pagoda with Fuji-san in the background—and often with sakura (cherry blossoms) flowering.
An alternative and less common view of the pagoda is from beneath. In fact, the fact that the pagoda can make such a stunning foreground interest object to the distant Fuji-san means that few take the time to appreciate the pagoda for its own elegance.
To be honest, the fact that during our visit to the region in September 2018 Fuji-san was hidden behind clouds forced me to take a look at the pagoda itself in more detail. So we spent more time walking arond the structure and capturing it from different angles than we otherwise might have. Don’t let the sky here fool you—while it seemed relatively clear from this angle, Fuji-san, behind me, was completely hidden in the clouds.
One detail is the offerings left at the altar in front of that gate—I deliberately did not remove the water bottle because it is a feature of the respect paid by those that visited.
So the story remains—irrespective of the conditions at a photo site, look around and enjoy the overall detail of the scene. There is beauty in most scenes, and it is up to us to find it!
Our visit to Japan in September 2018 was marked by lots of overcast weather, and some significant rain. I guess that's to be expected in late typhoon season, and thankfully we did miss the Osaka typhoon, albeit by a few days.
Wanting to get some great views of Fuji, we booked a few nights at Kawaguchiko, a famous location for views of Japans iconic mountain.
We took a trip up the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway more for the experience and views of the lake, but were greeted with our first glimpses of Fuji-san, peeking out from behind the clouds.
We visited Kawaguchiko in Japan to see some of the iconic views of Fuji-san.
Visiting in September we had overcast weather for the three days we were there, with this view of Fuji-san only opening up on our final morning.
Getting up at sunrise I walked down to the Lakeside from the hotel, hoping to see Fuji-san, but expecting to shoot the lake. I was greeted with this view, and worked hard to find a scene that had a beautiful reflection.
One of the keys of landscape photography is the willingness to spend at least a few days at any one location, maximising your chances of getting the shot.
So I was pretty happy with this.
Now its clear that visiting in September means that you are in Autumn, and the iconic snow peaks of Fuji-san are mostly melted, and of course you have higher chances of overcast weather. On the plus side, crowds were small.
Every season has something to offer, and I am very happy with the beautiful reflections of an iconic mountain.
Back when I lived in Tokyo for a couple of years one of my favourite places to visit was the ancient capital of Kamakura, which is a short rail trip from the modern capital.
The Daibutsu (Great Buddha) is a magnificent structure, dating back to the 13th century.
The Daibutsu was originally housed in a hall, which was twice destroyed/damaged in storms during the 14th century, before being washed away in a 1498 tsunami. The Daibutsu has now been an outdoor feature for some 521 years!
The challenge for photography here is the crowds that flock to visit this site throughout the year. Weekends in particular are crazy busy in the area.
To counter the crowds, I setup to incorporate the base, which is actually a couple of metres above the surrounding ground level and then waited patiently to have the fewest number of people in shot. I have then cleaned up a few errant individuals in Photoshop.
The day we visited was actually quite a rainy day, and this provided a dramatic sky (and kept the crowds down a little).
I highly recommend a visit to Kamakura to any visitor to Japan.
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a must see site when visiting Kyoto, Japan.
On the edge of the city, Arashiyama is a natural bamboo forest. To have the best experience I recommend you make the effort to get up early—sunrise early—to beat the crowds.
The other advantage of getting the early is to avoid the overly bright skies breaking through the peaks of the bamboo. You can get a more balanced light. Even at 0730, around the time of this image, you can see the bright sky.
Take the time to enjoy the location, capture scenes big and intimate, and soak up the tranquility.